Laird antenna sees above horizon

  • October 27, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Ohio-based Laird Connectivity has launched an antenna for IoT applications that delivers optimised gain just above the horizon and announced the upcoming Sterling-LWB+ Wifi 4 (802.11 b/g/n) and Bluetooth 5.2 module.

Above-horizon gain is important because many IoT applications exist in remote locations and require the optimal gain to be ten to twenty degrees above the horizon to provide a solid connection with distant cell towers. Low-profile antennas may look similar, but usually are not engineered to give consistent coverage at or near the horizon.

There is no benefit to a high-gain antenna if the direction of gain is pointed near vertical towards the sky rather than the receive point above the horizon.

“The 5G Phantom antenna series is an important milestone, not only for our company, but also for the wireless industry as a whole,” said Paul Fadlovich, director of product management at Laird Connectivity. “Laird has a two-decade reputation for being the leading manufacturer of low-profile antennas and it should not have come as a surprise that testing revealed these antennas performed better than we expected, and superior to competition. They will offer excellent performance for many years in the field and the coverage of future 5G frequencies means they will not need to be replaced for a very long time.”

The on-ground plane series includes 617 to 7125 and 698 to 7125MHz versions, both available in either black or white. This frequency range provides global cellular coverage of many current 4G and 5G frequencies, even for regions that use the lower 600MHz frequencies. They also have the added benefit of future-proof coverage of the CBRS, C-Band and unlicensed 5 and 6GHz frequencies, which are either starting to come into use or are planned for future rollout.

The 5G Phantom antennas have over 80% average efficiency and gain up to 6.0dBi in an IP67-rated, form factor of 84 by 45mm or 92 by 45mm.

Powered by the Airoc CYW43439 Wifi 4 and Bluetooth 5.2 combo SoC from Infineon, the Sterling-LWB+ is designed for IoT. It delivers a fully featured Wifi 4 radio, enabled with Laird’s software drivers and support.

The secure, high performance SDIO unit can be integrated with any Linux or Android based system, with RTOS software integration coming soon.

“Adding the LWB+ to the Sterling line is an example of Laird Connectivity’s commitment to providing the latest technology and chipset to our customer base,” said Andy Ross, senior product manager at Laird Connectivity. “In partnership with Infineon, we’ve been able to integrate a leading-edge chipset and deliver a high reliability, industrial temperature range solution.”

The Sterling-LWB5+ includes Wifi 4 and dual-mode Bluetooth. It delivers on reliability with drivers and extended product life support, and Laird’s Linux Backports package ensures compatibility for a broad range of Linux kernels. The module also supports WPA3 security standards.

“Infineon is excited to see our strategic partner Laird Connectivity introduce the Sterling-LWB+ Wifi-Bluetooth wireless module with our robust and reliable Airoc CYW43439 Wifi 4 plus Bluetooth 5.2 SoC,” said Sivaram Trikutam, senior director at Infineon Technologies. “This expands the scope of Airoc, offering a rapid path to production for a wide range of applications with industry-leading RF performance, updated security and other enhanced feature sets.”

The Sterling-LWB+ is available as a system-in-package (SiP) and two certified module versions, supporting either an on-board chip antenna or a MHF connector for an external antenna. It was designed to meet the demands of medical and industrial IoT applications, including rugged handheld devices, industrial IoT connectivity, industrial IoT sensors and battery powered medical devices. It supports the latest WPA3 security standards and will be globally certified to reduce barrier to entry. Pending certifications include FCC, ISED, CE, RCM, MIC and Bluetooth SIG registration.